Our people

AERO employs staff from all over Australia. With staff based in every state and territory, AERO’s team brings together a wealth of experience and diversity of backgrounds. Over 30% of AERO’s workforce are or have been practising teachers or educators in Australian schools and early childhood education and care settings.

AERO currently operates online-only, enabling us to bring together the very best talent, no matter their location.

Our senior managers

AERO CEO, Jenny Donovan

Dr Jenny Donovan, Chief Executive Officer 

Dr Jenny Donovan is the CEO of the Australian Education Research Organisation. Prior to this role, she established and led the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE) as Executive Director for 8 years. 

Dr Donovan began her career as a high school teacher in Sydney’s western suburbs. She has worked in a number of education roles in operational and policy areas, including some years as Deputy Director of a not-for-profit education assessment agency at the University of New South Wales. She was Managing Director of the National Learning Progressions and Online Formative Assessment Initiative; a national priority project for Australian education ministers. 

She holds a Bachelor of Arts with a Diploma of Education from Macquarie University, MA (Hons) from UNSW and a PhD in history from the University of Sydney.

Zid Mancenid

Dr Zid Mancenido, Senior Manager, Research and Evaluation

Dr Zid Mancenido is the Australian Education Research Organisation's Senior Manager of Research and Evaluation. Having started his career as a high school social sciences teacher in Canberra, Zid has experience working across education policy, practice and research, with organisations around the world including Teach for Australia, the Australian Government and the National Institute of Education (Singapore), and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

Zid holds a Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) degree from the Australian National University and a Master of Teaching (Secondary) from the University of Melbourne. He also holds a Masters degree in Education Policy and Management and a PhD in Education Policy from Harvard. He also concurrently holds an appointment as a Lecturer on Education at Harvard, teaching courses in education policy and general pedagogy.

Rowena Finnane

Rowena Finnane, Senior Manager, Strategy and Operations, and Company Secretary

Rowena Finnane is the Australian Education Research Organisation’s Strategy and Operations Manager. She began her career as a lawyer, providing legal, policy and strategic advice to a number of organisations and government departments. Rowena played a leading role in establishing the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE) and has led senior policy and strategic planning projects across the education sector. She is experienced in establishing new organisations and leading significant strategic change in the education sector.

Rowena holds a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Master of Arts by research from the University of Sydney. She has a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, was admitted as a Solicitor of Supreme Court of NSW and has a current Practising Certificate.

David Boyd

David Boyd, Senior Manager, Engagement and Impact

David Boyd is the Australian Education Research Organisation’s Impact and Engagement Manager. He has extensive experience in education policy design and implementation. Prior to joining AERO, he worked as a senior education specialist and head of education policy for a large non-government organisation in Brazil, where he oversaw national projects on curriculum implementation and teacher workforce development. He has also worked as an advisor to Education Ministers in the NSW and Australian Governments, with a particular focus on programs to address educational disadvantage.

David holds a Master of Education from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts (Social Policy) (Hons) from the University of Sydney.  

Lucy Lu

Dr Lucy Lu, Senior Manager, Analytics and Strategic Projects

Dr Lucy Lu is the Australian Education Research Organisation's Senior Manager of Analytics and Strategic Projects. Lucy worked in the NSW Department of Education for 20 years, most recently as the Director of Education Statistics and Measurement. She has led multidisciplinary teams responsible for large-scale data collections, data standards, policy and reporting, and statistical and psychometric analysis to enhance policy analysis and decision-making. Lucy has also led projects in areas of practice, measurement and funding modelling, including expanding the evidence base to support the department’s resource allocation model and School Excellence Framework.

Lucy holds a Bachelor’s degree in computer science with her honour’s thesis focusing on artificial intelligence, a Master’s degree in information systems from Macquarie University and a PhD focusing on education measurement from the University of Wollongong.